Friday, June 25, 2010

Starvation kills elephant in Koraput

Times of India, June 24, 2010
KORAPUT: Orissa has been witness to hunger deaths of people. It seems that the menace has caught up with wild animals. An elephant died due to starvation in Koraput district on Thursday.

Forest officials seized the carcass from a hill near Kontraambo village in Dasmantpur forest range.

With this incident, at least three elephants, including a tusker, have died in the district in the past 20 days. On June 4, a tusker died of indigestion at Narenga reserve forest and on June 16, another elephant had died reportedly due to weakness in the Bilaput hills.

Officials said the dead animal belonged to a herd of 14 elephants that is moving in the area for the past one month. "The autopsy report reveals that the stomach of the elephant was empty. It is a female elephant and she has succumbed to hunger. As the elephants are moving in a barren land for the past few days, they were unable to get food," said divisional forest officer (Koraput) Atish Kumar Behera.

"Since the area doesn't have any food for animals, we have decided to scare away the animals towards the border of Nabarangpur district where there is plenty of food. Tonight, as many as 200 people belonging to Vana Surakhya Samitis along with our officials will try to chase the animals towards Nabarangpur," he added.

Officials said only 11 elephants are left in the herd of 14 which had ventured inside the district from the Karlapat elephant sanctuary in Kalahandi district. During this time every year, elephants from the Karlapat sanctuary venture into forests of Koraput in search of food. It is a permanent elephant corridor.

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